On June 11, the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine detained Serhiy Belashov, a deputy of the Poltava Regional Council, who is allegedly involved in a fraud case amounting to Hr.206 million ($5.6 million), as reported by the NGO Anti-Corruption Center on its Telegram channel.

Belashov, who heads the Batkivshchyna fraction in the Poltava regional council, is suspected of being involved in fraudulent gas purchases for Ukrzaliznytsia, the national railway, according to the Anti-Corruption Center.

Judge Viktor Maslov set bail for Serhiy Belashov, at Hr.30 million ($810.000). The bail option will be valid until Aug. 9.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and a group of her party members from Batkivshchyna went to the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court on Sunday, June 11, to vouch for Belashov in an official capacity and plea for lower bail, the Anti-Corruption Center said. Their attempt was rejected by the court.


Belashov is also a gas trader, and co-owner of the Ukrainian Capital bank. His wife, Liliana Belashova, who was previously a deputy of the Poltava City Council from the Conscience of Ukraine party, owns gas companies. Both are co-owners of the Ukrainian Capital bank.

The case was brought to court by the national police and the prosecutor general’s office after investigating possible losses to the state budget amounting to Hr.206 million, resulting from violations in the gas procurement process.

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Detectives from NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) allege that from December 2016 to January 2020, officials from the Production Support Center branch of Ukrzaliznytsia colluded with representatives of gas companies to bypass tender procedures for gas purchases.

The investigation revealed that the participants in the scheme agreed on an additional markup for gas, ranging from Hr.200 to Hr.1,000 ($5.41 to $27.07) per 1,000 cubic meters. Meanwhile, employees of Ukrzaliznytsia deliberately concealed more favorable gas prices offered by other participants in the gas market.


As such, Ukrzaliznytsia effectively favored two companies, and the extra proceeds from the transactions were divided among a wide range of participants in the scheme.


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